Lotte Gertz, Mitzi Pederson

26 Feb 2009 – 11 Apr 2009

The Approach

London, United Kingdom


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  • Bethnal Green

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The two-person exhibition of works by Mitzi Pederson and Lotte Gertz invites a dialogue between two artists who had not met previously. The pairing is based on a shared understanding within their individual practices of the interchange between the processes of thinking and making. Pederson and Gertz allow concept, narrative and formal concern to co-operate with and be limber to chance and physicality. The works are informed not only by their intention, but also by their materials and processes. Pederson sketches out basic forms with pencil and paper, but it is only on the wall of her studio, where dozens of miniature sculptures are casually pinned, that the physicality of these forms takes shape in what is essentially a three-dimensional sketch book. Her process moves forward organically, and it inevitably continues during the works' installation, where even more possibilities open up. The room's light levels, the height of its ceiling, the colour of its floors and walls are all factors that influence her decisions in building the pieces into fully realized sculptures. The spaces between the different elements of her sculpture are often just as important as the materials themselves. Solidity, tension, light, suspension, space, weight and gravity become her tools. The construction of the sculptures is clearly visible and understood; yet the sculptures are more than the sum of their parts and their materials are carefully crafted into something new and unexpected. In earlier works Pederson used found objects to construct her sculptures. More recently, however, she has sought out specific materials but limits her choices to those that are commercially produced. Each is widely available and carries particular properties and inconsistencies. Pederson plays with these constraints, pushing the components to their physical extremes by tugging, pulling and placing them in unfamiliar positions. Decorative elements like the tiny streak of glitter on a plywood top edge add a touch of glamour to these simple materials. Lotte Gertz uses woodcut printing, painting and drawing as the basis of her practice. The layering of imagery and the tactile surfaces evoke depth and form and instill the work with a sculptural quality. Gertz explores the flexibility of chance that printmaking can offer and contrasts this with the strictly cut and placed use of collage. The work evolves through an all-encompassing approach to the materials where mark making, colour choice, play and manipulation all form part of the process. The remnants of Gertz's process and technique can be found on the surface of the work. The materials that Gertz includes also give a sense of the trace of a human presence¬ó the arc of a shirt collar, the threads of clothing, a used match, or the artist's smudged fingerprint. These act as signifiers and symbols in a personal vocabulary and indicate a continuous shift and clash between shared and private realities, boundaries and thresholds between them. The titles of the works hint at the buried presence of the original narrative or visual inspiration drawn from poetry, architecture or personal memory.


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